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tv   The Stream  Al Jazeera America  March 4, 2014 12:30pm-1:01pm EST

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follow the common sense rules, then we can do what we're good at. thank you for watching al jazeera america. i'm del walters in new york. "the stream" is next. we leave you with a look at wall street right now. i'm lisa fletcher, and you are in the stream. is misinformation complicating the crisis in ukraine. what is happening on the ground in crimea that is going widely unreported but could have significant impact. ♪ our digital prodouser wamg waj is here bringing in all of your life feedback throughout
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the show. are viewers concerned about the commune knee crimea? >> yeah, you mentioned misinformation and it seems every week there is a new player and each player has a story. russia says they are doing a military buildup to protect ethnic russians. sandra does not believe it . . . >> it is interesting ever time the worlds cold war come up that is such a hot button. >> yeah, to this day. >> months into the up rising in ukrain the young nation's political future is uncertain. russia falls into a much less
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coveted spotlight as it comes moving into this crimea. if you look at it there, you can see it is quite the strategic location for the two countries, and it is home to one of russia's largest naval fleets. now this comes after months of protests by opposition activists who say they are fed up with corruption and a leader that they believe is inching away from the european union. the protesters now worry that their country's fate could be decided by foreign hands. every day it seems more fuel is added to the fire with plenty of volatile potential. so what lies ahead? joining us is the director of institute for democracy and cooperation, a pro-russia group, an assist important professor of political science and baylor
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university, a blogger out of moscow who just came back from the region at the end of last year, and the vice president of the uranian association of north carolina. his organization is pro-ukrain. welcome to all of you. olli you and members of your organization have friends and family in ukrain. i know you get reports that never make it into the media. what are they telling you that they are seeing and hearing you on the ground? >> that is correct. i have extended family in ukrain, and many residents of north carolina have family in ukrain. and the last few days everybody is extremely concerned, worried that the possibility of a civil war, and they are preparing to defend the country, and fight. >> tim, talk a little bit about -- i know you have a lot of friends there, and it's not
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unusual for someone to be born in russia, even raised in russia and then move to ukrain. about 60% of the population in crimea is russian. what is the push aaron alex alexis -- push and pull there? >> i have a lot of friends in ukrain and kiev and people are really divided. because i can't say all of the nation wants to come to europe, there are a lot of people who are pro-russia and lots of people who are against russia, and the country is really divide. really there are a lot of opinions on how the country will develop in some future -- in some near future, so that i'm really worried for my friends and my friends in ukrain are really worried about endangering
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the stuff ukrain have now, also the revolution, because the revolution is in near past and now the groups -- the power groups, fighting groups in ukrain are starting to kind of divide the pie, and just aim to acquire some part of the powers. some people from [ inaudible ] some official opposition politics, like klitschko and others, and for example [ inaudible ] nation from the extremist group radical extremist group called riot factor, who are not controlled -- >> tim, you mentioned the political parties, and our a couplety is really concerned about the people of kiev.
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>> some people are really afraid of some protesters, because i -- i mean, protesters are not yuted in the ukrains. there are a lot of protesters who are against each other, and some protesters are proradical and against russia, and some people are afraid of protesters, and afraid of riot sector, because riot sector has previously stolen a lot of weapons -- >> tim, one second -- >> can i jump in please, because i'm afraid tim is telling things that are just not accurate. >> go for it. >> first of all, the business of a lot of people being in favor of russia. statistically that's not correct. all of the recent polls have shown that the majority of the people, including east and west in general are in favor of europe, not russia. there is a minority that is in
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favor of europe, but the majority is in favor of russia. and the booingy man of the extreme nationalist have been over inflated. now i would like to say a few words about [ inaudible ] itself. >> hang on, just a second, olli. i want to get sergei in for a moment. i want to talk a little bit about these protests sergei. you know, observers have called them deeply authentic. they said it goes to the core of ukrain, and there is fear that the violence is going to escalate. i want to get your thoughts on that. are you anticipating an escalation? >> right. well, we have to remember that the violence happened only after two months of peaceful protests
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in the stern of kiev that were repressed by violent means by the yanukovych government. the violence was a form of self-defense against the attempts of riot police to try to disburse protesters through force from the streets. now that the yanukovych government has been toppled, i don't think that violence really is a serious issue that threatens russian speakers in ukrain. this is a completely bogus threat that russians are on purpose creating in order to find a pretext to intervene in uranian territory to organize and cover up this aggression in crimea and further in the east. >> sergei i'm going to get community in. steven just tweeted in . . .
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and i want to go to you with this. speaking about the uranians now. do you think uranians have lost out on this narrative? can they control their own destiny? or are they being used as a pawn now? >> first of all, everybody must know that there is no united ukrain. ukrain is two different nations, two different countries, and because of very [ inaudible ] policy of [ inaudible ] this country survived until recently. but i always warn, and i have many, many publications and for 20 years, i am inside the russian politics, dealing with
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uranian policy, dined with many leaders, and i know practically everyone in politics. in 2005 in my article in february, victory of you shenco in ukrain is the greatest victory of russia. because if westerners outlawing russian language, russians -- everything concerns russia, having confrontational policy against russia, they are pulling the trigger and practically destroying their own country, and they achieved this goal in mie dan because all of these people starting to -- looking this armament effort in western ukrain, civil power billings in western --
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>> can i please jump in? >> let's let olli jump in, and we're going to hit a break here -- >> let me finish my -- and during all of these things -- typical. typical. >> okay. i'm going to put both of you on pause. what is the level of confusion on the ground? we'll talk about that and a couple of other unreported angles complicating the crisis in crimea when we come back, but first you can get us on twitter but here is our new app. >> tv is noening loer one way with "the stream" second streen app. share your thoughts during the live show. disagree with one of our guests, great tell us. interact with other app users in real time. you can be our third co-host, vote, tweet, record video comments and we'll feature them onair. use the app and drive our
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>> welcome back. we're talking about the crisis in crimea. sergei there seems to be haze of propaganda and misinformation. reporters are often getting two different answers when they are asking the same question. is it dif all the to gauge the level of confusion? >> i think there's confusion between ethnic russians and russian speakers. half of uranian citizens speak russian at home or at their
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work. but 75% of uranians are ethnically uranian. some speak russian but predominantly ethnically uranian. the two nations that [ inaudible ] talking about is one of the elements of this confusion. sthekd element of confusion has to do with the exaggerated threat that comes from radical nationalists in ukrain. yes, it's true that some radical nationalists receive positions in the new government. and that has been a mistake by the authorities. but all of the front runners are russian speakers. kill shankco is a front runner
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in the up coming election. both come from ukrain. the far right that many people talk about is really a marginal insignificant political force. >> we have our community tweeting in about some of the other members of crimea, we're talking about tatars. and we have a video comment. >> today russia opened the door of our house without knocking it, occupying governmental buildings, military units, tv channels, airports, demanding the uranian military forces to surrender and to acknowledge the illegally elected prime minister. as a tatar and people of crimea, i address the international
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community with a request to help us to maintain peace here without blood. >> tim i want to go to you with this, there are 3,000 muslim tatars in crimea. they have had a volatile relationship with russia. stalin sent them out and half of them died. what will be the effect of an increased buildup of a russian military on theta tar population? >> this is an extreme case of miscommunication. and what is happening in crimea. >> we should be clear about what [ inaudible ] we should -- >> do you want to know really what is happening in ukrain? >> both of you are going at once. tim go first. >> crimea is not like any other region in ukrain. it has its own parliament, government, and prime minister. the prime minister actually
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invited russian military troops to keep peace in the region, and russian military troops are there behaving very politely. it is a fact, you can check twitter and local reports from the region. and they are not fighting anybody, shooting anybody, or offending anybody. the girl before in video said they are occupying administrative buildings and so on, no, that's not true. check twitter, check facts, check articles and videos from real crimea and you will see that that's not -- it is -- it is not true. >> one thing we have to remember is the prime minister of crimea does not have authority to invite foreign troops on the uranian territory. the constitution bans any presence of foreign troops -- [overlapping speakers] >> let him finish and then we'll
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get you in. >> in addition the prime minister was elected in violation of the law which says he has to receive confirmation from the authorities in kiev. only those confirmed by the authorities in kiev can act on behalf of crimea. he did not receive that confirmation, and he does not have any power to invite any troops, foreign troops into crimea. >> how do you respond to that? >> yeah, listen, all of this -- i can't listen to all of this nonsense, because people does haven't any idea what is really going on this crimea. first of all the prime minister was elected by crimean parliament and his candidacy really was approved by the only legitimate institution in the ukrain, but president yanukovych. second, the crimean parliament
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doesn't recognize the legitimacy of current power in kiev because they violated agreement signed with yanukovych, which was approved by three foreign ministers from poland, germany, and france. that's why these are absurd things to say that they have nothing to do at this moment -- >> can i please -- >> hold on -- hold on a second -- >> olli, go ahead. >> i didn't finish. >> we have a limited amount of time, i want to get everybody in. go ahead, please. >> this is the most important thing. ukrain -- crimean authorities don't invite russian troops. russian troops are located in crimea. >> okay. olli go. >> can we please have some order? thank you. first of all i think it's important to point out that people forget that although
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there are 60% of russians in crimea, there is 15% of tatar, and 24% of yoouranians, and nob talks about the uranians in crimea. second, if this was invited to keep the peace, although all of the evidence is that that is baloney. the russian fleet is totally safe from any kind of threat, why is it that the russian troops that sneak into crimea took off of their insignia so it didn't show they were russian troops. >> do you want to respond to that? because we have video of the same thing, and that is pretty much the circulating narrative that the russian military is there, just essentially unmarked? >> yeah, you know, the problem is the troops in peninsula are of course the troops deployed by russian authorities according to
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agreement with ukrain. by the way, according to agreement, russia has a right to deploy 25,000 troops over there. now russia has a little more than 10,000. by the way, almost 6,000 uranian forces now pledge their loyalty to crimean government. and by the way, crimean prime minister declared himself as commander in chief and he is going to establish a ministry of defense for crimea -crimea -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> i would like to ask you a question if you would stop talking for a moment. do you feel there are signs that russia is ready to start a war over crimea? >> of course not, because there is no need -- to war with whom? haven't you heard today one uranian deputy gave interview and said mobilization? it's a joke. nothing is moving. nothing is flying. we don't have anything --
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>> this is not true. >> i would like you to weigh in on this. >> well, first of all, there were confirmed redemriment of russia troops from russia that was done through the [ inaudible ] street. also the russian troops have surrounded all of the uranian military bases in crimea. i'm not sure what kind of agreement allows russian troops to surround the military bases and demand the surrender of arms that the uranian military has there, and order the uranian troops to withdraw. on what basis are the russian authorities demanding that? there have been incident of russian fighter jets going into the uranian air space. there have been demands for the warships to come to the russian side. what the entire world is recognizing essentially, except russia is the outright aggression that is covered up by
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a bogus threat of nationalists that does not exist. >> i'm going to get some community in before we go to break, guys, and we have, as you can see on our live show, our community is equally divided . . . >> all right. leading governments are talk about how to punitively deal with russia, but is it all talk. we're going to separate the posturing from a plausible response. keep tweeting us.
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there's more to it. ♪ ♪
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[ singing ] >> usa supports ukrain. usa supports ukrain. >> welcome back, that was footage from a uranian american rally in chicago. we're continue our conversation about the crisis in ukrain. the british foreign secretary william hague ruled out military intervention, so as the most powerful countries in the world are preparing how to act here, what do you expect the actual response to be? >> the actual response from the uranian government? >> from the international community. everybody is talking about doing something, but what do you think is actually going to happen when the rubber meets the road?
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>> i think the first thing that will happen is at an tempt to humiliate russia diplomatically, expel it from the g-8 try to impose sanctions on top of leaders and financial sanctions on some of the businessmen in russia, these are the initial steps that i think will be taken by -- by the international community. but at the same time, i think uranian authorities have to be proactive and to try to communicate to the russian authorities that there is really -- guarantees that they are willing to extent to the ethnic russian minority, that's what the concern is about their eventation in the new government, about their rights. so the russian authorities would understand it's our interest and common interest to maintain peace and avoid the potential for conflict that seems to be fast approaching. >> here we have a video comment
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from a uranian american. >> what happened in ukrain is much larger than anti-government protests. what is happening is the movement against the form of government that should not exist anymore. it is a 21st century, and it is no time and no place for [ inaudible ]. and i hope that some day we'll witness how other countries of eastern europe and all around the world where there's still no true democracy, towards the establish amount of a true civil society. it is time for terms such as oligarchy, ruling clans, to go to textbooks and stay there. >> olli, what do you want to see for the future of ukrain for uranians? >> well, what has united them is a will to end the corruption, to have a normal democratic country, and everybody in the whole country will tell you, we
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want to have a future -- >> we're out of time, olli. thank you to all of our guests. have a great evening. ♪ along.d to have you you are watching the al more extensive coverage. >> we condemn the act of aggression. >> john kerry accusing russia of looking for an excuse to invade more of ukraine. >> it is an unconstitutional coupe and a military seizure of power. >> russia's president condemns events in kiev, and says he has